Review: The Echo

December 8, 1998, by Kristen Slater

Jack Dragg, the opening band at Friday’s Hole concert, arrived at the O’Neill Center in their blue Ford Econoline van -complete with WXCI bumper sticker- and unloaded their gear.

Hole, with the exception of Courtney Love, arrived in their silver tour bus not long after Jack Dragg. Soon after the tour bus arrived, a spotless stretch black limousine, carrying Love, moderately drove toward its destination, the O’Neill Center.

After a sound check, Courtney was escorted, with tight security, to her incense scented, candle and organic celery adorned dressing room. There was also a lush supply of alcohol and cigarettes. While Courtney was in her dressing room, the crowd outside was growing wilder by the second. Two radio stations were egging the crowd on with displays such as two girls being rewarded with tickets for making out with each other.

The backstage crew and staff were working down to the minute the show started. Jack Dragg took the stage at around 8:10 p.m. and played energetically to an ambivalent crowd. The stage went dark, the fans screamed, and the energy was flowing. Hole soon appeared on stage welcomed by 2,200 ecstatic concert goers. Opening with a song from her newest album, Celebrity Skin, the ever unpredictable Courtney Love put on a show to be remembered. In addition to bashing a guitar and kicking off her boots, Love performed songs such as “Malibu” and “Celebrity Skin” from Hole’s third album Celebrity Skin. She also performed “Violet” and “Doll Parts” from their second album Live Through This.

Courtney Love wore black leather boots that were shed three songs into the concert. The rest of her outfit stayed on and consisted of a black tank top and black leather pants, with much controversy over whether or not she was wearing underwear. One “Love”-struck hopeful offered Courtney his Swatch watch hoping to get attention. He got it. She said “like I would take your Swatch watch.” The crowd ate it up. One other concert goer, one of the only ones on someone else’s shoulders, flashed Courtney in a different attempt to get her attention. She got it. Courtney said “hey, this girl just showed me her tits.”

A lot of the crowd was swaying back and forth to help keep the crowd surfers afloat. The crowd surfing stopped three feet before the stage at the wall of security guards. The surfers were then escorted back to the crowd. One concert goer decided to get a better view of the show by climbing to the top of a set of bleachers that were stacked against the wall. His efforts were quickly squashed when the security officers located the ambitious climber with their flashlights. He was escorted down and returned to the rest of the audience.

After playing for a little less than an hour, Courtney said good night to the fans and exited the stage with the rest of Hole. Entering the stage once again, Hole performed an encore. Roughly 20 to 30 minutes later, Love threw her guitar across the stage and took her final exit for the evening. The rest of her band followed, and the drummer, courting a law suit, threw her drumsticks into the crowd.